No mother should be forced to give birth alone in their cell – the prison system isn’t fit for purpose

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Saturday 05 October 2019 16:17
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Prison conditions ‘most disturbing ever seen’ with staff now inured to jails not fit for 21st century, watchdog says in damning report

The news that a woman’s baby died after she gave birth alone in her cell at Bronzefield prison in Ashford is deeply concerning.

Over the years, there have been numerous concerns voiced about the care of prisoners at this establishment. Not only that; a number of young offenders institutions across the UK, some of which have been declared unsafe, also require closer monitoring.

Clearly a full, independent investigation into the tragic story of the baby and the prison’s fitness for purpose is needed.

The Rev Andrew McLuskey
Address supplied

Leave campaign

Did no one in the Leave campaign consider Northern Ireland? Did no one in the Leave campaign consider Scotland? Did no one in the Leave campaign consider Wales? Did no one in the Leave campaign consider anyone but themselves and their hope of climbing the greasy pole? And was anyone who voted to Leave cautioned that they might be posing a threat to the United Kingdom?

God save Her Britannic Majesty – and the rest of us, for that matter!

Philip Mitchell
Winchester

Operation Midland

Calls for the Metropolitan Police commissioner, Cressida Dick, to “consider her position” over Operation Midland are futile. How could she resign over the bungled police investigation of an alleged VIP paedophile ring, if she couldn’t bring herself to do so over her operational direction in 2005 that resulted in the police killing of an innocent man, Jean Charles de Menezes, on the London underground?

Geoff Naylor
Winchester

Over the cliff edge

I shouldn’t say this, but isn’t wonderful to see Donald Trump falling over the edge? Let’s hope that Boris Johnson is the next one to go. To help him on his way, may I recommend “mitigation of cruelty”, the sensible principle of morality suggested by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins? Mitigation of cruelty is a deterrent to the genetic territorial instinct in humans for “survival of the fittest”, and the antithesis of Johnson’s notion of “acceptable human behaviour”.

David Parsons
Portsmouth

Church and state

It is reported that an employment tribunal judge has ruled that a doctor’s Christian belief in the Bible, and particularly that of Genesis 1:27 – that he made them male and female – and his refusal to use preferred pronouns for transgender patients, is “incompatible with human dignity” and not “worthy of respect in a democratic society”. It was also claimed in the tribunal that Genesis 1:27 was not a belief protected by the Equality Act 2010 and was a “mere opinion”. The ruling makes one wonder how much more of the Bible, which has been the bedrock of our nation’s beliefs and laws, is not respected by our supposedly intelligent judges and what other exclusions of the Equality Act 2010 exist limiting freedoms of religion, belief and speech.

J Longstaff
Buxted, East Sussex

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Smacking ban

The Scottish parliament’s decision to ban smacking children in the face of public opposition is just another example of arrogant political elites ignoring the people they are supposed to serve and imposing their liberal values on others.

If you want to know the real cause of populism, look no further.

Andrew Brown
Allestree, Derbyshire

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